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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Illinois and Delaware Subsidize Arizona and Alaska

...and South Dakota!

Michael Kinsley puts "Sarah Palin's Alaskanomics" (not to mention the GOP's insidious reverse snobbery) in perspective:

Back to reality. Of the 50 states, Alaska ranks No. 1 in taxes per resident and No. 1 in spending per resident. Its tax burden per resident is 21/2 times the national average; its spending, more than double. The trick is that Alaska's government spends money on its own citizens and taxes the rest of us to pay for it [Michael Kinsley, "Sarah Palin's Alaskanomics," Time.com, 2008.09.09].

The numbers from The Tax Foundation: In the last three decades, Alaska has taken more money from the federal government than it has contributed in all but four years (1982–1985). In this decade, Alaska has seen a return of about $7 in federal spending for every $4 in federal tax paid.

Senator McCain's home state of Arizona has seen similar largesse from Washington: in every year since 1981, Arizona has taken more federal dollars than it has paid (though at a smaller ratio than Alaska, recently about $6 in for every $5 out).

Where do those extra dollars come from? Other states, like Illinois and Delaware. Since 1981, Illinois has never seen better than a 4:5 return on the federal taxes it pays. Obama's home state has always been in the bottom five of states in federal spending received per dollar of tax paid. Delaware ranks right alongside Illinois on that ratio, consistently paying more than it gets back from Washington.

And the local perspective: South Dakota has ranked in the top 10 in the federal spending–tax ratio in all but five years since 1981. In 2005, we got $1.53 back from Washington for every $1 we paid. Thanks, Minnesota (federal spending–tax ratio in 2005: $0.72).

So who has the entitlement mentality here, Republicans or Democrats? The Dems obviously believe in paying their way and then some, while the Republicans think money comes magically from tax cuts and doublespeak.


  1. "The Dems obviously believe in paying their way and then some, while the Republicans think money comes magically from tax cuts and doublespeak."

    Cory, I ain't buyin' that without more evidence.

  2. Aw, come on, Stan, cut me some slack. I'm giving you more evidence than McCain and Palin! ;-)

  3. So, Cory, explain to me why it is wrong for "working-class" or poor states to get money from the other states, but it is not wrong for poor or "working-class" people to get money from others, all via our tax system and the federal government. Some people get more money back than they paid in taxes, obviously a redistribution of wealth.
    You, a democrat, seemed to have no problem with federal grants for our bike trail. I, a republican, was not in favor of the trail unless we used local money for it.
    And, regarding your post below this, my opinion is that the Sioux Falls airport should not have been given the federal money. So do you want to throw out Johnson and Herseth-Sandlin, or just Thune?
    Both the Republicans and Democrats have gotten the "gimmes" and are spend-happy. You can not with a straight face say that one is better than the other.
    And, btw, it is my understanding that McCain has not asked for earmarks for Arizona. And no, I am not a staunch McCain supporter. I truly will be voting for him as the lesser of two evils.

  4. I believe South Dakota gets back more than it pays in too.
    Is that correct Cory?

  5. I believe it is hypocrisy that Corey is trying to point out.

  6. chuck ritter9/09/2008 10:05 AM

    No, I think it's hypocrisy Cory is trying to MAKE UP!

    Not that Sarah, hasn't gotten a great deal already. I think she can handle it!

  7. Anon 10:45: you are correct: as I point out in the penultimate paragraph, SD is subsidized by other states, just like Arizona and Alaska.

    DRK: Anon 10:54 is right: my point is the hypocrisy of the line McCain-Palin are feeding us. They are trying to convince us that they are superior in their fight against federal spending, yet their states are some of the biggest beneficiaries of federal spending.

    My point about Thune, Johnson, and Herseth-Sandlin is that I'll bet you won't hear the SD GOP (or the Dems, for that matter) criticize our Congressional delegation for bringing home federal dollars for the airport, Lewis & Clark water, etc. Yet the SD GOP will tout the McCain-Palin propaganda about being against pork big and bad. It's utter hypocrisy.

    Dems enjoy slurping at the federal trough for their constituents as much as the GOP. But at least the Dems are running an honest campaign, saying federal programs can do some good and that we need to pay for them.

    (By the way, DRK, I don't recall posting on federal grants for the bike trail. Do refresh my memory if necessary. I like the bike trail and hope it expands, but to be honest, I'd rather see those federal dollars pay for finishing the war in Iraq and veterans' health care than more asphalt for a pleasant Sunday bike ride. I'd also rather see Forward Madison dollars used for the bike trail than for more ads and banners.)

  8. chuck ritter9/09/2008 10:36 AM

    So I suppose refusing a $4000 raise and calling Senator Stevens on the carpet, among other things, are 'bad'.

    If not why are you bringing up points that have NOTHING to do with corruption; but are still earmarks.

  9. Chuck, I make nothing up. You're getting close to "Say that to my face" territory. If you'd like to provide actual information instead of your own wishes, feel free.

  10. Yes, Stan and anon; Sarah is the welfare queen. Her state does not even try to be self-reliant for Alaska has no income or sales tax.

    But my new favorite is that she collected per diem 312 days (~55%) of her time as governor - for staying in her own home in Wasilla. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/08/AR2008090803088.html?hpid=topnews .

    Imagine if Governor Rounds pulled that stunt - (and perhaps it was tempting during construction of the SD governor's crib).

    Palin also collected thousands for her kids and the first dude's travel and per diem - though it had nothing to do with conducting state business. She gives lipstick a bad name.

  11. chuck ritter9/09/2008 2:02 PM

    Try This:
    Your accusations are too long to post in such a small place.

    It's just that things are getting out of hand and all of America is seeing through it.

    I guess the polls are showing a rise for McCain/Palin as these come out so I guess I shouldn't complain. But, if you don't stand for something...you'll fall for everything.

    Take it for what it's worth. I found the link on the Dakota Voice website.

  12. Cory 11:06 says:

    "... you won't hear the SD GOP (or the Dems, for that matter) criticize our Congressional delegation for bringing home federal dollars for the airport, Lewis & Clark water, etc. Yet the SD GOP will tout the McCain-Palin propaganda about being against pork big and bad. It's utter hypocrisy."

    Okay, Cory. I will buy this. There's your slack! :-)

    Now let me do some platitudinous bloviating (I have been lurking about waiting for a chance to shoot off that expression, which I coined this morning) about entire states.

    We might say that states getting more from the feds than they spend are "conservative," and states getting less from the feds than they spend are "liberals."

    If we want to get sharper with the rhetoric, we could call all states that get more from the feds than they spend "thieves," while calling states that get less than they spend "suckers."

    This applies only to the politicians, of course, not the voters. ;-)

    Thieves and suckers, the whole lot of 'em.

  13. Cory just can't get over the fact that John McCain "moved his cheese" when he picked Sarah Palin as his running mate. The Dems were all prepared to slaughter standard candidates like Huckabee, Romney and Ridge, but McCain tossed a curve ball, fast ball and slider with Palin. Have you ever seen Obama so quiet the past week? The silver-tongued devil doesn't know what to say! Why don't you compare federal spending in states like Sen. Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton. Why even criticize Governor Palin for Federal spending? She has no more control over Federal issues than our own Governor Rounds. Go after Alaska's Senators and Reps...they're the ones garnering the money, not the Governor. By the way, you left out an important point. Wages in Alaska are far above most states due to oil revenue and sparsity. Compare teacher salaries in Alaska! Huge difference. Tell the whole story, not just try to tear down a natural leader, who works hard on several fronts.

  14. Maybe I'm using inductive reasoning a little too loosely. It seems that Republicans tout their economic ideology of free market economics and less government taxes/spending so that consumer spending can drive the economy while actually using government spending to drive the economy. Especially in states where the free market wouldn't be able to build the infrastructure necessary to do business. We've seen what a consumer-driven economy does when trouble arises, but the government doesn't run out of credit as easily. Hell, we got out of a depression by using government spending on things like the WPA. In my experience, history isn't a strong point of republicans.
    And to connect it to the current discussion, states like AK and AZ (and SD) need federal funds or the economy there would stagnate or even dry up.


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